"The Victorian Government has failed to fund 500 housing places for young people living with mental illness almost three years after making the commitment – a key royal commission recommendation." (Council to Homeless Persons, Melbourne City Mission and Orygen) The homelessness press-release says nothing about how massive overseas immigration and investment has driven the excessive demand that has resulted in high prices and housing shortage, but this is the elephant in the room, and t
The bombings continue to destroy residential buildings, schools and hospitals. the blockade is tightening and the slaughter of Palestinians is escalating.
The global Palestine solidarity movement must continue to stand with Palestine, now more than ever.
We need to take march for Palestine and demand a REAL end to the bombing; a full withdrawal of Israel troops from Gaza, lift the siege, stop colonising the West Bank, release all Palestinian political prisoners now. We also call on the Australian government to cut ties with Apartheid Israel.
This morning, an alliance of Naarm/Melbourne activists entered the Port Melbourne building of Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems, with signs reading: ‘ELBIT DRONES KILL KIDS’ 'FREE PALESTINE’ as so-called Australia wakes to the news that another 700 Palestinians being killed overnight by Israeli bombs
From 10am until 12pm tomorrow, on Thursday 6 April, outside the electoral office of the Attorney General Mark Dreyfus in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Mordialloc, supporters of Julian Assange will be protesting to demand that the Australian government act to end the British Government's imprisonment of Julian Assange.
Where To From Here - Victorian Local Government Elections 2024; Save Our Canopy Trees – April 1 Forum; Planning and Heritage Inquiry; Level Crossing Removal FOI; VCAT Protest?; Let There Be Light – Brunswick Residents Have a Win; Planning Scheme Amendment St Phillip St Brunswick East; Guest Speaker at Fitzroy Residents Association; John Curtin Hotel; Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens; Western Port Woodlands Alliance Formed; MAB Attempts to Silence Westmeadows Re
On March 3, 2023, protesters gathered outside Mark Dreyfus, the Australian Attorney General's office, to complain of Dreyfus's failure to object to the British Government's illegal and cruel imprisonment of heroic Australian citizen, Julian Assange. March 3 is Assange's birthday. Inside is the text of James Sinnamon's speech on that occasion.
Text of James Sinnamon's speech (video embedded below)
Contents: Page 1 – Heritage Amendment Bill 2023; Victorian Departmental Restructure; Australian Architecture President Bells the Cat; Legislative Council Planning and Heritage Inquiry; Page 2 – Submissions Closing on World Heritage Management Plan for Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens; Speech to CROWAG, and April Forum; Level Crossing Removal FOI; War on Plastic – Clean Up Australia Day; Page 3 – South Australia’s Planning Minister Flags Change
I appreciate the opportunity for public comment on this important issue. I was the Federal Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage when the then Federal Minister for Environment and Heritage announced the move to nominate the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens for World Heritage listing. I have followed the history of this site with considerable interest.
Presentation by The Hon. Kelvin Thomson, Convenor of Planning Democracy, to Combined Residents of Whitehorse Action Groups, (CROWAG) Wednesday 15 February, Blackburn Lake Visitor Centre.
In this issue: Victorian Parliament Resumes; Protecting Democracy and Amenity – 15 February Blackburn Speech; Facebook Page; Save Lake Knox; Ryman Healthcare; Mount Eliza Development; CROWAG April Public Forum – Save Our Canopy Trees; Stop the Great Wall of Frankston; Long Reserve Langwarrin; Concrete coming out of the Moonee Ponds Creek; War on Plastic; Kilmore Land Upda
In this issue: 1.WELCOME TO 2023; 2.VCAT DELAYS; 3.STOP THE GREAT WALL OF FRANKSTON; 4.SUNBURY HIGH RISE TO GO TO VCAT; 5.KILMORE BUSHFIRE EVACUATION ISSUE; 6.BAD NEWS ON THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA; 7. KINGSWOOD GOLF COURSE; 8.477 SYDNEY RD. COBURG – BIKE SPACES, BUT NO CARS PLEASE; 9. PLANNING DEMOCRACY FACEBOOK PAGE; 10. WORLD HERITAGE MANAGEMENT PLAN OVERVIEW; 11.
From 4pm, this coming Saturday 11 February, come down to the Victorian State Parliament to celebrate Julian Assange for the Global Carnival Worldwide Mobilization for Assange. Meet at Parliament Steps at 4pm Saturday 11 February 2023.
The Human Chain for Assange was attended by more people than we have seen at any Free Assange demonstration in Australia to date. SBS says, "Thousands," Victoria Police estimate 3000.
This clear and passionate speech goes to the heart of why it is so vital that we all - especially PM Albanese - stand up for Julian Assange. If we want to be free, we need to free Assange. Lorine (or Anita) is the effective convenor of the Friday Night Flinders St Station Vigil for Julian Assange. She has been doing this for years now, in all weather, and has built up a regular crew of speakers and poster-bearers. She is a real Australian hero.
At a protest for Julian Assange, which commenced outside the Victorian State Library at 12:00pm on Sunday 28 September, protestors demanded that the Australian government use the power vested in it as a sovereign national government to make British Prime Minister Liz Truss end the illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange.
Update 10 September: OfficeWorks no longer prints on the back side of an A4 sheet!? In just over a fortnight from today, at 12:00pm on Sunday 18 September, outside the Victorian State Library, 328 Swanston Street Melbourne, ther
From 12:30pm today at the Hiroshima Day protest in front of the Victorian State Library in Flinders Street in the Melbourne CBD, John Shipton, Julian Assange's father, will be speaking.
Meet at Vic State Library for 11am rally and march 3 July 2022, Julian Assange's birthday. Australia's award winning journalist, outstanding publisher, creator of WikiLeaks, and possibly the most famous, heroic, and persecuted person in the world, turns 51 years old. This is his 4th birthday spent locked away in Belmarsh prison, London. His previous 7 birthdays were spent locked away in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
The tickets had been cancelled twice in the last 2 years, but finally it was going ahead. In the weeks leading up to the performance, I was many times on the brink of cancelling, as I had to weigh up the possibility of catching Covid 19 and, at best, recovering but being in isolation for a week as a result.
In the end, inertia took over, and I went with the flow, out to dinner, and then to the show.
In this issue: Friends of Queen Victoria Market Annual General Meeting; Tree Canopy Cover Forum (Mordialloc); Tree Canopy Cover Whitehorse; Tree Canopy Cover Darebin; VCAT win to protect native grassland; Heritage win at Moonlight Head; Concrete to be removed from Moonee Ponds Creek; Surrey Hills-Mont Albert level crossing removal project; Save Lake Knox update; Beaumaris Modern update; Preserving Mornington Peninsula Open Space; Caulfield Racecourse Update; North East Link
Report on the Heritage Protection Forum; Where to from here; Federal Elections; Australian Heritage Advocacy Alliance 2022 Campaign; Save Lake Knox; Brunswick - good and bad news; Submissions open for Melbourne Observatory Lighting Works; Wattle Park Update; Kilmore Land update; Queen Victoria Market update; Mt Eliza Village entry way; Elsternwick Structure Plan; Glenlyon; Hawthorn Institute of Education to become apartments; Sprawling cities are over-running global biodiversity; The
Report headlines: Heritage Protection Forum planned; Federal Election; The Committee that ate Melbourne (The Melbourne Committee); Wattle Park Heritage Submissions sought; Curtin Hotel; Kilmore Land Deal; Crowag Green Notices; South East Water Reservoir, Mt Eliza; Heritage Victoria Permit Application for 2022 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show; Ivanhoe Developer goes direct to Planning Minister; Queen Victoria Market; Big End of Town Complaints Department; High-rise A
Submission to 2021 Heritage and Planning Protection Review
The Queen Victoria Market (QVM) is listed as a significant place on the State and National heritage listings. The Queen Victoria Market is of cultural significance for its ongoing role and continued popularity as a general and fresh meat and vegetable market, shopping and meeting place for Victorians and visitors alike.
Mary Drost's 90th birthday party took place on 13 October 2021, while Melbourne was still in Lockdown, but you could meet in the open air if you wore masks and were within 20km of your home. I was unable to attend because it was out of my 20km range.
Hi to you all, and particularly to those of you who I do not know. As you will have heard from Mary, I have agreed to take over as Convenor from Mary Drost OAM. In 2005 Mary established Planning Backlash as an umbrella organisation and coalition of community and resident action groups.
I knew it was my lucky day. Returning home from a walk this afternoon I removed the clutter of advertising material from my letter box. A rather subdued, tasteful card caught my eye as I shuffled through the assortment of catalogues and lost kitten notices. I noted the heading on a sage green coloured card - "Halcyon Close" - featuring a double storey, apparently newly built, modern styled townhouse complex. The verso showed the interior and outdoor living areas of one of these hallowed retreats, the living room suffused with light through floor- to -ceiling windows, onto neutral-coloured walls and soft furnishings, the outdoor living area dappled with sunlight, through a hint of greenery, on a neutral-tiled patio and beige outdoor furniture.
Oh, Halcyon days in the heart of Sorrey Hills, that could be mine for as little as $1.5 million!! I need never mow another lawn, never water another plant, or pull out another weed. I could close the door and temporarily forget "Halcyon," if, for some unexpected reason, I wanted to leave it for a short time.
At Halcyon Close I would feel as though I had died and gone to Heaven. Is this subdued green card in my letter box my ticket to eternal peace?
But oh, no, I can see complications at Halcyon Close! I think I will actually have to die to attain eternal peace after all.
Halcyon Close will have problems that are not evident from the controlled mood of the brochure. Alas, they have not mentioned the ceiling level windows that will be impossible to keep clean. There is no mention of the vexatious woman next door who complains about cooking odours, or the low frequency boom of the sound system in number 8, seeping through the poorly insulated walls. The details of the troublesome, high fee body corporate with its interminable meetings is not touched on. There is no hint of the cracks that will appear in the basement car park, putting the whole structure in jeopardy. The Saturday night hoons, doing donuts in the nearby cul de sac, do not feature, nor the planning permit for a nearby sixteen-storey apartment block, ready to cast an eternal shadow over Halcyon Close and its neighbours.
The cool headed accountant in me foresees that I might manage to salvage $200,000 from the transactions and fees, after selling house and garden to buy into "Halcyon's" tidy concrete time-saving confines. But this would soon be dissipated in lawyers fees, trying to get compensation for the structural nightmare in which I would now find myself!
In present day Melbourne, "Halcyon" is only an illusion.
A piece of clever advertising was placed in my letter box, transporting me to Heaven .... but only for five minutes.
It's interesting how so many sentences and ideas now trail off into the inevitable denouement "… but that didn't happen because of Covid"…"We had to change plans because of Covid." It's as though Sir Humphrey Covid is some VIP, for whom doors must be opened and the seas must part. Or, as though Covid is an unexpected first born baby to a couple in their 40s whose lives are now utterly transformed. "We couldn't celebrate Henry's birthday this year because of … Baby Covid." "Covid" could be anything or anyone terribly important - one's mother in law arriving from Europe or a visitation from a long dead relative. All must stop … for Covid!
One of my friends refuses to name this interloper, usually spoken of with such reverence. This seems an excellent way of handling the situation!
Sir Humphrey is noted more for what he prevents, rather than what he facilitates or mandates. Think of the thousands of people who have not attended football matches they otherwise would have flocked to, and further ,who have not caught planes, boarded cruise ships for exotic ports, nor played bingo in the ornate lounges of the oversized ships. Think of all the three-course breakfasts that have not been eaten in the multitudinous choice of ship and hotel dining rooms all over the world! Sir Humphrey has put a decisive stop to these hedonistic activities.
Millions of people have not attended work for months, because of one entity, already named and and derisively "knighted."
All these aforementioned effects are from the point of view of us "ordinary people." It is our friends and relatives plans that have given way to COVID-19. But what about if we look further out to decisions beyond our sphere of influence ? It seems that "Sir Humphrey" has affected activities on a much greater scale.
Even chronic wage depression, and endemic high rates of unemployment, will stop. These, associated with globalised out-sourcing, must stop for Covid. These, which blew out further after the Kennet-led destruction of state awards and John Howard’s new use of the Corporation clause in the Constitution, with a new stream of cheap immigrant labour (see above) - must stop for Covid. So we are now looking at the first increases in employment rates and wages prospects, for decades.
It has been hard, according to Australian farmers, to find fruit-pickers, since the highly exploitable backpacker stream dried up with Sir Humphrey Covid. See [Fruit Picking Jobs Australia]. However, Australians complain that they are often rejected when they apply to work. In fact a lot of Australians are working in the industry, now the farmers don’t have a choice to exploit disoriented young migrants. See, ”Thousands of unemployed Australians do go for fruit-picking”. Of course, if there are not enough Australians to pick the fruit for low wages, the fruit growers could get together and raise their prices. For this to be viable, Australia would have to stop importing fruit from countries with endemic slave labour, and Australians would have to buy fruit by the piece, rather than in large quantities that often are not eaten and go bad in the bowl. Low carb dieters and Dr Lustig (see, for instance, “Fat Chance Fructose 2.0: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3WkXJokBAU), would all say that we have been encouraged to eat far too much fruit and fructose-laden processed foods, so raising the price of fruit would be all to the good.
Yes, Sir Humphrey, but ...
You would think that governments would be quaking in their boots as their personal and party investments in real-estate threatened to take a dive and the property developer-industry mafias and triads would start cruising with kalachnikovs past politicians’ private residences late at night. But this has not happened – because the governments control the remaining levers that regulate land and housing prices and they ARE the mafia. [See, for instance, Labor Inc.]
Yes, with the sudden drop in mass migration, both temporary, landed, and permanent, many expected a huge drop in land and housing prices. However, this did not happen, due to the Federal government outrageously permitting people to cash-in on their superannuation, and the Reserve bank dropping borrowing interest rates. This created even more buyers than usual. The pressure on supply led to higher prices. The pressure has extended to the regions, raising both purchase and rental prices in places where the homeless have traditionally fled in search of affordable rentals.
Instead of a famine, it’s been a feast for the land-speculators, and misery has compounded for the homeless and precarious. If Jimmy Dore is right (see also, below), this will form part of a cycle: as a proportion of people default on their mortgages, with the next financial crash or when the Reserve Bank raises interest rates again, the banks will just put them on the market again, and again, and again.
With Australia’s borders closed indefinitely, however, outsourced-state land-companies and their colleagues in private development, fear that persistent lack of mass migration will ultimately outlast the super-cash-and-low-interest-loans-bonanza-in-demand. Then, they fear, land and housing prices will finally fall to reasonable levels, far too low for the growth lobby’s addiction to the high prices.
They have a strategy though. As readers of /node/2363 know, the growth lobby in government and corporate form has been trying to liberate big houses on big lots from the tenacious claws of undeserving old ladies, who rattle about so wastefully within them, unreasonably refusing to die and make way for more deserving younger age-cohorts. For this purpose the Liberal (Turnbull) government initiated a ‘downsizing tax-break” from July 2018, whereby if you are 65 years old or older and meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to make a downsizer contribution into your superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling your home. (They don’t check the size of your new home.)
And, of course, there is another string to this house-liberation strategy, involving nursing-homes, whereby you sacrifice your home towards the cost of your ‘care’ in a nursing home. Over 65s are not real welcome in ordinary hospitals these days, and tend to finish up in nursing homes when anything goes wrong, overfilling them. Thankfully, COVID-19 has helped liberate nursing homes as well as houses, but apparently this may not be enough.
Which brings us to the ultimate strategy – or should I say - ‘final solution’? The AstraZenica vaccine. Introduced with a friendly face, initially, AstraZenica has acquired a spectral character, not unlike those Grim Reapers of the 1980s AIDS safe-sex ads. It has gradually been withdrawn from use by younger cohorts, until now, only those usually considered ‘too old to work’ - the ones who are imagined to rattle alone in rambling residences in leafy suburbs – qualify for AstraZenica, and only for AstraZenica. We are told that the average odds of their dying from the ‘rare blood clotting disorder’ linked to the AstraZenica vaccine are lower than the average odds of their dying of COVID-19 – if they get it. And they are damned if they do take the vaccine and damned if they don’t, because one or the other may still get them.
Are the risks of enough elderly thus liberating large lots in leafy suburbs for subdivision statistically high enough to compensate for low migration for a few years? It is difficult to estimate exactly, but every little bit helps, Sir Humphrey.
The United States government PLANNED for mortgagees to lose their homes from the 2009 financial crash?
In this Youtube broadcast of 23 March, Jimmy Dore gives his interpretation of how United States' Democrats planned to cause ordinary Americans to lose their houses as a consequence of the 2009 financial crisis! Incredibly, they seem to have colluded with Wall Street creditors to enable them to be able to seize mortgaged homes when mortgagees found themselves unable to make repayments.
Apologies for this very short notice.
At 1:30pm today, 1 May 2021, the International Workers' Day, the day on which Trade Unionists commemorate the struggle and sacrifices by trade unionists to achieve dignity and decent living standards for themselves and their families, supporters of Australian journalist and founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange will be marching as a contingent, behind Melbourne for Wikileaks' (@Melbourne4Wiki)'s large banner, pictured further below.
Julian Assange has committed no crime and has already served his outrageous 50 week sentence for the supposed misdemeanour of skipping bail back in 2012 when he sought political asylum at the London Ecuadorian embassy. Yet, two years after his imprisonment, he still remains behind bars in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day, as United States prosecutors pursue their appeal of Magistrate Vanessa Barraitser's ruling against the extradition of Julian Assange.
Were Julian Assange, who is not even an American citizen, to be extradited, he would face a rigged trial, before a jury of employees of U.S. intelligence services or their spouses, for supposedly violating the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917. Such a jury is expected to pay little heed to the arguments of Julian Assange's defence team before sentencing him to 175 years more imprisonment in solitary confinement - all for revealing to the world, facts about U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.
Please join us at 1:30pm, outside the Melbourne Trades Hall at the corner of Lygon Street and Victoria Street, South Carlton, to support Julian Assange. Please help us hold up that banner and distribute our leaflets. (A PDF file of a double-sided A5 leaflet, which has been adapted to become the article Uphold the Rule of Law - demand that the Australian government act to end the illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange (11/2/2021) can be downloaded from here.
Where: Melbourne, Trades Hall, corner of Lygon Street and Victoria Street, South Carlton.
When: Today (Saturday, 1 May), 1:30pm